Remember baby aspirin, and how much kids loved those chewable orange pills?

Remember chewable baby aspirin

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Given how absolutely terrible regular aspirin tastes, it’s amazing that baby aspirin tasted so good. Like candy delicious. Like when we were kids, it was the best part about being sick delicious!

It smelled great, too, as this ad from 1964 pointed out: “Whiff that pleasant orange fragrance as you open the bottle…”

Baby aspirin from the 1960s - St Joseph - at ClickAmericana com

Baby aspirin (formally, children’s chewable aspirin) is still available today (see some here), but if you want a close approximation of the sense memory you might have from the 1950s to the 1980s, you can try the orange-flavored tablet from an Assorted Fruit bottle of Tums Smoothies.

In the meantime, flashback to those fever dreams of your childhood (assuming you were born before liquid ibuprofen and acetaminophen became ubiquitous, though those medicines were also quite tasty) as you scroll through these old ads for sweet orange-flavored baby aspirin. -BB

Bayer Aspirin for children - Dosages (1961)

PS: If you want to do a deep dive and find out more, check out the article ‘Candy aspirin,’ safety caps, and the history of children’s drugs, and this piece in The American Economic Review, The Lulling Effect: The Impact of Child-Resistant Packaging on Aspirin and Analgesic Ingestions.

Vintage St Joseph’s baby aspirin pills (1950s)

The hat doesn’t fit, Sonny! — you’re not ready for an adult size yet… And mother knows it’s the same in aspirin — you’re not ready for a 5-grain adult size tablet because it doesn’t fit your special dosage needs.

Mother… Here’s the aspirin tablet that “fits” your child’s needs. It’s St. Joseph aspirin for children!

Approved by mothers everywhere because it solves child dosage problems and eliminates all guesswork about correct dosage. Easy to give because it’s not necessary to cut or break tablets. Assures accurate dosage because each tablet contains 114 grains of aspirin — the regular 5-grain adult tablet. Easy to take because it’s orange-flavored and sweetened to a child’s taste. 

Vintage St Joseph's children's aspirin pills - 1950sNOW SEE THIS: 1918’s Spanish flu: A dark history of the deadly influenza pandemic 100 years ago

Bayer Baby Aspirin: How to win [little] friends (1956)

The Best Tasting Aspirin you can prescribe. The flavor remains stable down to the last tablet.

Bayer Baby Aspirin

Vintage St Joseph’s baby aspirin instructions

Vintage St Joseph's baby aspirin instructions

Vintage orange-flavored children’s aspirin ad (1960s-1970s)

When your child has a cold or flu… Doctors recommend [Note: this advice is from 50+ years ago]

1. Rest in bed.
2. Drink plenty of fluids.
3. Take aspirin to reduce fever and relieve pain.

Give the best — Orange-Flavored Bayer Aspirin for Children in the exact size Doctors recommend.

Vintage children's aspirin ad (1960s-1970s))

Candy from the 70s: Remember these deliciously unforgettable sweets?

Vintage St Joseph’s Aspirin for Children (1960s-1970s)

As a mother, you’ll know that children need an aspirin made especially for them… when they’re suffering from achy fevers of colds, or other minor ailments.

St. Joseph Aspirin For Children was the first aspirin created for youngsters. It’s a specialized tablet to answer the requirements spelled out by children’s doctors.

Vintage St Joseph's baby aspirin (1965)

Here are facts about this tablet …

First with 1-1/4 Grain Dosage that doctors recommend for children. It’s easy to give your child the correct amount.

First with the Pure (not artificial) Orange Flavor and creamy-soft texture, that children accept without fussing.

First with Snap-Guard Cap that helps discourage unwanted tampering by children.

Pure — No Added Drugs: St. Joseph Aspirin For Children is pure aspirin, protected by 224 quality control tests. No added drugs mixed in — safer than decongestant products that might disturb children. This is a tablet you can trust. For real protection, ask for St. Joseph Aspirin For Children by its full name.

ALSO SEE: See vintage drugstores 100 years ago, selling lots of things you can’t (legally) buy anymore

Vintage St Joseph's Aspirin for Children (1960s-1970s)

Baby aspirin: No, Mother,  Tylenol is not found safer than aspirin! (1978)

To all concerned parents! If you’ve been confused by advertising for a Tylenol product that claims it works like children’s aspirin but it’s safer… and just as effective when used as directed — you should know this:

A U.S. Government Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, has issued a news release on the findings of a panel of experts appointed to study nonprescription pain and fever relievers. Concerning acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol products, the FDA states that “the experts found no basis for claims that this ingredient is safer than aspirin and urged labeling to warn against the danger of liver damage from overdoses.”

These experts recommend the following warning for all acetaminophen products, including children’s preparations: “Do not exceed recommended dosage because severe liver damage may occur.”

Parents! Acetaminophen was not found to be safer than aspirin. And you can continue to feel secure if you have been giving your child Bayer Children’s Aspirin all along.

ALSO SEE: How penicillin was discovered, and how WWII let this miracle drug reach millions

Bayer - Tylenol is not safer than aspirin (1978)

Bayer Children’s Aspirin (1982)

To reduce a kid’s fever fast, Bayer has just what the doctor ordered.

When a child gets a fever, aspirin is the medicine pediatricians recommend most.

And Bayer Children’s Chewable Aspirin is the #1 children’s aspirin. For over 30 years, millions of mothers have used Bayer to reduce fevers safely and quickly.

At The Bayer Company, we know how you worry when our child gets a fever. We have kids, too. So we take special care making Bayer Children’s Chewable Aspirin. For a fever, you can’t buy a better or faster working medicine. Besides. we wouldn’t ask you to give your kids anything we wouldn’t give our kids.

Bayer Children's Aspirin (1982)

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Baby aspirin: St Joseph’s children’s aspirin and non-aspirin (1983)

When it comes to fever reducers, St. Joseph is a name that means safe, fast, effective relief to generations of mothers and doctors. Now St. Joseph has a complete line of children’s aspirin and aspirin-free products for you to choose from.

Choose St. Joseph Chewable Aspirin Tablets, used by mothers for over 35 years.

Or choose one of the St. Joseph aspirin-free products, Chewable Tablets, new Elixir, and Infant Drops. All contain the aspirin-free ingredients doctors recommend most St. Joseph medicines for children also include Cold Tablets and Cough Syrup.

Isn’t it nice to know you have a choice from the name mothers trust.

St Joseph's children's aspirin and non-aspirin (1983)

Baby aspirin – Bayer bottle front and back (1987)

Orange-flavored Bayer Children’s Aspirin in a glass bottle with a pink safety lock cap. 

Baby aspirin - Bayer bottle front and back (1987)NOW SEE THIS: Flintstones vitamins were marketing genius, and changed the children’s vitamin game in the 1960s

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Comments on this story

6 Responses

  1. When I was a little girl, I use to sneak a couple of the Bayer Children’s Aspirin to eat like candy. But one day, I got so carried away that I ate the whole bottle! My mother asked who ate them, and I cheerfully answered, “I did!”. The taste was very good. A lot of children overdosed on eating the whole bottle.

  2. Yes. I ate a whole bottle of them once, I guess out of boredom, when I was about 4. I don’t remember anything happening afterwards that was bad about it, though, and I have an excellent memory about early childhood that goes back to about 3 years old. I am thinking now that perhaps it wasn’t a full bottle, so that would have helped me not to drastically overdose… but even so, the taste of that orange chewable aspirin has never left me. I recently tried making a commercial orange cake mix and had to promptly throw out the result… it tasted just like those old orange baby aspirins. Not a flavor I wanted to recapture! (I guess the drug companies must’ve learned something from making medicine TOO palatable to children… anybody remember some of the old cherry cough syrups of the 60s? The ones pitched for children? I sure do. The flavor—to a kid—was delectable, and they didn’t seem medicinal tasting in any way. More like something you’d pour over ice cream. Eventually they fixed that, and made them kinda burny on the tongue. Think Vicks.)

  3. St Joseph children’s aspirin was delicious… but didn’t work worth a damn. It wasn’t until I was older and was able to take Excedrin that I finally found something that provided real pain relief.

    1. Yikes! Growing up, I knew someone whose mom would buy her Luden’s cough drops to eat as candy. Another very tasty medicine…

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